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What can I do as a high schoolers to help my progress of becoming an accountant in college?

I want to become an accountant. #accounting #business #finance


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John’s Answer

Ambar the benefit of knowing what your college goals are early you can take steps now to help you prepare for success in your accounting degree program and, later, in your career. By taking the right classes in high school, understanding what’s required to reach your career goals and networking with others in the field, you can start working toward success even before you have attained your high school diploma. While you are in high school, you should take classes that teach the basic principles of the skills you need to become an accountant, to prepare for college coursework in an accounting program. Accountants work with numbers to prepare financial statements and documents, so you should take classes in mathematics, algebra, calculus, and statistics.

Of course, business and accounting classes are far from the only high school courses that matter. It’s important that you complete high school studies at the college preparatory level in a wide range of subjects, especially math. Many Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree programs require students to complete at least foundational courses in algebra and pre-calculus, if not more advanced studies in algebra and calculus. Taking these courses at the high school level can help you become familiar with the topics you will need to know as a college student. If you choose an advanced placement (AP) high school class in subjects like these, you may even have the opportunity to test out of the college equivalent of the course, saving yourself time and money. Computer skills and communication skills are also valuable for prospective accountants, so be sure to work hard in your English and computer courses, as well.

You might be surprised at how much of this preparation can, and should, be done while you’re still in high school. Summer break during your high school education is the perfect time to visit top business schools, some accounting schools offer high school summer programs that equip students with new skills and allow them to discover what the college experience is really like. You don’t have to wait until you’re a full-fledged accountant to start networking. Whether you’re looking for your first internship opportunity or simply wondering what life as an accountant is like, connecting with others who are studying or working in accounting can help you prepare for your own career path.

Hope this helpful Ambar

John recommends the following next steps:

If you have selected the college or university where you will study, contact their accounting department for advice on the classes you should take in high school.
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If you have not selected the college or university where you will study, visit the websites of a few college and university accounting programs to learn what classes are typically required to earn an accounting degree. Then, take high school classes that will prepare you for this college coursework.
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Accounting is a business-oriented field of study, so you should take classes in business and join organizations such as the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).
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Thank You Delisa. “The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” — Helen Keller John Frick

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Megan’s Answer

I definitely think taking as many business classes as possible in high school is helpful! Especially if your school offers Accounting classes. I also think joining business clubs can help you gain more general knowledge as well! Express your interest to your business teachers and they can help point you in the right direction based on what is offered at your school. It is fantastic that you have already started to think about how to prepare for your furture!

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Matthew’s Answer

Ambar - the way to help your self prepare for an accounting degree in college while in high school is to take business-oriented classes like entrepreneurship, business math, statistics, keyboarding, etc. I would also suggest trying to get a summer internship working in an accountant's office to see what they do and how they operate. Another idea would be to help keep the books for a small business owner that you know or you can meet through your family or friends.

I also think that it's important to use learn how to use the tools and facilities of your high school, like your guidance counsellor to help you with these decisions and help you find placement with internships or even at a university. This will also give you experience with how to use these same resources when you get to your university. It's never too early to start building your network. You will want to be able to use your network for referrals and references for many years to come.

I taught professional programs for 20 years in the financial services industry. I have many prior students still ask me for guidance and use me as a referral sometimes. I am always happy to hear from them and help out when I can.

I am impressed with you focus and excellent question. Good luck in your search. I'm confident of your continued success.

Matthew recommends the following next steps:

Talk to your guidance counsellor about best high school classes for you and other programs to be involved with.
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Find an accountant or local businessperson and ask them if they have an internship program.
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Build a network as early as you can with guidance counsellor, university, other students, etc.
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Maintain your focus.
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You can't control the outcome but you can control your input.
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M’s Answer

Look at business clubs, contact a local CPA and ask to do an internship. Do anything that can get you into that world.

Good luck

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eve’s Answer

Hello! I would talk to fellow accountants to understand what kind of accounting you are interested in. For example, do you want to become a personal accountant (CPA) or do you want to be a public accountant and work in corporate at one of the Big 4 Accounting firms (KPMG, PWC, Deloitte, EY). Both are awesome career paths and just knowing more will help you figure out what you want to do. Also, check out some free videos online (youtube) on accounting and what a career in this profession is like.

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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Ambar,
Great question! Prior to college, I would recommend researching careers in accounting because there are so many ways you can use a degree in accounting. For example, there's the public vs. private sector; different fields such as tax, advisory, or auditing; not to mention specializing in the accounting field such as a career in forensics. If you obtain that knowledge earlier on it will help when it comes time to pick your accounting courses in college. When I attended college, I majored in accounting but also minored in criminal justice and political science in order to tailor my studies towards a forensics career path. If your high school offers accounting or business classes consider taking those to gain some foundational knowledge before taking classes at a higher level in college. Additionally, consider creating a LinkedIn profile to connect with accounting professionals, it's always great to start networking early. There are also professional organizations that you could get involved in which offer student memberships. Those organizations can provide a better insight into the accounting field and also offer ways to advance your knowledge and/or skillset in the field whether that be through webinars, learning courses, etc.

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Jonathan’s Answer

Great answers so far. I would add that reading business news articles and books is a way to take a huge step forward as well. Part of being a good accounting is understanding the business purpose and dynamics of your clients or company. The broader your spectrum of knowledge about the business world and economy... the better you can serve clients / help your company in the future and the better grades you can get in classes :o)

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